ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – In recent years, the Bills recipe for success has been to rely on the defense to win games while the offense does barely or just enough to get by.
That can’t be the case this year with all of the weapons they have on that side of the ball. And given the expectations for Josh Allen heading into year three. We’ve been talking about it pretty much since the playoff loss to Houston about how critical taking that next step in his development is at this point in his career.
And the good news is he had a solid training camp and so far looks sharp. Players and coaches have talked about how Allen has grown not only as a player but a leader as well.
“Josh has had a phenomenal training camp I mean that’s the headline, that’s the bullet point,” defensive tackle Harrison Phillips said on a zoom call with reporters.
“He’s done a fantastic job. Just to be out a practice to see how he commands their huddle, to see the plays that he makes, the smart decisions he makes, the way that he can get himself out of trouble with his legs if he needs to. He was a phenomenal football player last year and he’s a better player this year. To see the growth in him from year two to year three just makes me so optimistic about him being my quarterback.”
And Allen himself said he feels even more confident heading into this year’s season opener.
“I feel like I’m more in control of the offense this year. I have more answers to problems that we’re gonna be faced with. I think the familiarity with the offense, just knowing the knowledge that I know now it’s been, I wouldn’t say it’s been easier but it’s been more comfortable. I see things I feel like a little more, it’s not like we’re trying to game plan for our defense but I can set protections a certain way and know that I’m good on this side if they bring this guy I know where my answer is,” Allen said on a zoom call with reporters.
“The way I’m throwing the ball, my familiarity with my throwing motion right now has become really good. I feel like I know what happens when I miss or when a ball comes out of my hands funky. I think as far as mechanics go I think I’m in a good spot. Obviously there’s still a lot to work on and it’s gonna be a weekly thing day in and day out just trying to perfect it.”
It also helps when the Bills finally have a surplus of options in the passing game, with the biggest weapon being Stefon Diggs.
“It’s been great having a guy like Stef. The guy just wants to be great, he’s gonna push everyone around him to be better. We’re just trying to get on the same page. We missed a lot of reps during OTAs and we know that so we’re just trying to fast track everything, trying to get as many reps as we can,” Allen said.
That’s something that’s been really fun to watch at practice, not just Allen and Diggs working on their chemistry but the wide receivers and defensive backs going against each other in general given the level of talent at both positions.
“I’ve never been around a group of men that are as competitive as this group that we have here and I think it’s kudos to our front office for bringing in guys that really want to work, guys that want to win no matter what it takes. The talent level on both sides is fairly high and we just gotta keep pushing each other to try and be better. I think the greatest thing that we get to do is go against our defense,” Allen explained.